The Cleveland Indians are hoping to catch lightning in a bottle with the signing of outfielder Melvin Upton Jr. and pitcher Alexi Ogando to minor league contracts with invites to spring training.
Melvin Upton was injured for most of the 2017 season and did not play any games at the big league level. He played in only 12 games for the San Francisco Giants AAA team hitting .244 in 49 plate appearances. Two years ago Upton hit 20 homers in 149 games with San Diego and Toronto. At 33 years old Upton still has some pop in his bat and is a base stealing threat. He will have the opportunity to make the team out of spring training especially if the Indians do not re-sign Austin Jackson. If Upton makes the big league club he will make $1.5 million in 2018.
Alexi Ogando spent last season in Korea where he went 10-5 with a 4.53 ERA after spending the previous seven seasons in the major leagues. Ogando holds a career major league record of 33-18 with a respectable 3.47 ERA. His best season was with Texas in 2011 when he went 13-8 with a 3.51 ERA. The Indians will look at Ogando as a starting pitcher in spring training. He could provide some veteran depth for the rotation especially if the Indians decide to trade Danny Salazar.